Liverpool seek Sunderland success after Cup woe

Liverpool will face Sunderland at Anfield in the Premier League on Saturday still reeling from their shock midweek League Cup loss to Northampton Town.

By (AFP)

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Published: Fri 24 Sep 2010, 1:05 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:45 AM

Northampton might have been 69 places below English football's most successful ever side when they visited Anfield on Wednesday but they stunned Roy Hodgson’s side with a 4-2 penalty shoot-out win.

After collecting just five points in their opening league matches this term, the defeat puts even more pressure on new manager Hodgson to try to get Liverpool’s season up and running.

He did not help himself by selecting an entirely new starting XI from the side that lost to Manchester United last Sunday but that backfired spectacularly, something he was more than willing to admit.

“We wanted to do well and it was very disappointing but we must regroup now and work hard between now and Saturday,” Hodgson said. “We need to make sure this does not have any effect on Saturday’s performance.

“We will survive it and get better. We will learn an awful lot ourselves from this defeat.

“I accept the responsibility for changing a lot of players in the team but I thought they were good enough to win the game but they weren’t.”

Hodgson’s thoughts were echoed by forward Milan Jovanovic who was one of few Liverpool players to leave the field with their reputation in tact following the loss.

He insists Liverpool can regroup following the defeat but knows the Sunderland clash has now taken on even more significance.

“We know this is not Liverpool. It is very bad,” he said.

“But this is football. I am so disappointed. We all are. We are sorry for the result but we have to move on now.”

Jovanovic added: “Every game from now is very important.

“We have got five points from five games. It is not enough. We have had five very difficult games.

“We just have to pass one difficult test against Sunderland and maybe in the next three or four games we can start to collect a lot of points. We have to stick together.”

Meanwhile, Titus Bramble will start for Sunderland after receiving the club’s full backing following his arrest on suspicion of rape, an allegation the 29-year-old denies.

The centre-back has been released on bail and will return to an injury-hit back four after being rested for the 2-1 midweek League Cup defeat at home to West Ham.

Manager Steve Bruce is without injured defenders John Mensah, Anton Ferdinand, Michael Turner and Kieran Richardson as the Wearside club, who’ve lost just once in the league so far this term, go in search of their first victory at Anfield in 27 years.

Club record 13 million pounds signing Asamoah Gyan is also a doubt after suffering a knock against West Ham, but skipper Lee Cattermole is available after serving a two-match ban, the England Under-21 midfielder’s second of the season.

Sunderland have failed to score on their last six visits to Liverpool stretching back more than a decade but, given the Reds’ unconvincing start the season, Bruce is confident his side can improve their woeful away record to increase the pressure on Hodgson.

The Black Cats have won just once away in the league since the opening day of last season and Bruce said: “Our record at Anfield isn’t the best, but we’ll go there and see if we can improve it.

“It looks like we’ll be without three centre-backs through injury so that’s something we’ll have to cope with as we look to pick up the pieces after West Ham.”

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